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ALEC Exposed: Names of NM Elected Officials LEAKED

Some elected officials hold town halls to listen to constituents. Some send out surveys and others hold gatherings at parks or churches. 

In New Mexico, however, some elected officials and community leaders choose to get their marching orders from corporations with extreme Right Wing agendas. 

Enter ALEC: The American Legislative Exchange Council. If you haven’t heard of this group before, you may have seen some of their policies either at the Roundhouse here in New Mexico or at the national level. They’re a Washington-D.C.-based, corporate-sponsored “think tank” that basically believes our society should be run like Gilead- see Handmaid’s Tale for reference, or, click here for a list of their bills. (Spoiler alert: abortion bans, “Right-to-Work” laws, privatization of public schools, voter suppression, climate change denial, etc.)

A couple of weeks ago, ALEC held their conference in Austin, Texas.

New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and Power the Future: Working together? CONFIRMED!

It also appears that NMOGA is working with top-tier far-right digital consulting firm Harris Media 

ProgressNow New Mexico has come into possession of a PowerPoint presentation from 2018 that was prepared by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and seemingly presented by their Communications Director Robert McEntyre. 

It contains slides with then forthcoming plans to expand their digital and traditional media reach into New Mexico, but more significantly, it confirms that NMOGA planned and has continued to collaborate directly with out-of-state lobbying group, Power the Future. 

You can see the whole slideshow here:

You can clearly see on slide six, the final bullet point: “Coordinate allied groups and align strategies and messaging.”

Given the layout of the presentation, it then appears that none other than Power the Future founder Daniel Turner himself was present to give some portion of the presentation, as his name card and that of his organization are similarly presented on slides 32 and 33. For the record, we know Turner was in NM during the summer of 2018. He tweeted a video of himself with a billboard Power the Future apparently bought in Sandoval County. 

Daniel Turner on Twitter

Here in beautiful New Mexico to support energy workers! Don’t let radical environmentalists take away your jobs. @powerthefuture #EnergyDominance #EnergyWorkers More to come, Sandoval County!! https://t.co/yF102QFP8l

Turner is based in Washington DC and started Power the Future sometime at the end of 2017, beginning of 2018. According to articles about him, he comes from working directly with Koch Industries and before that the Bush administration (Bush 2). Turner is obviously vehemently a climate science denier, but also a pro-Trump nationalist who echoes a lot of jingoist mantras on Twitter.

Wildlife corridors: What are they, why do they matter, and how do you help?

If you follow environmental news in New Mexico, chances are you’ve seen some of the great media coverage of what’s happening around wildlife corridors in the state. But what exactly is all the fuss? We’re going to give you a quick overview of the issue so that you can help get involved no matter what part of the state you live in: Wildlife matters to us all! 

Simply speaking, animals don’t recognize things like state boundaries, county lines, or different land designations from federal, state, and local jurisdictions; they just go where they need to for survival. Some people might be familiar with pictures of natural-looking overpasses for wildlife to cross over highways but wildlife corridors really represent large landscapes used for a variety of issues; migration, mating, foraging, etc. And it’s not just large mammals like deer or elk but almost every animal in some way utilizes the landscape, especially as more and more development encroaches on natural habitats.

ProgressNow NM calls for investigation into PRC Commissioner

Progress Now New Mexico today called for the investigation, by appropriate State officials including the Attorney General, Secretary of State and the State Ethics Commission, of various activities of Public Regulation Commissioner Valerie Espinoza. Those activities came to light after an examination by ProgressNow NM and others of responses to public records requests and other information provided to Progress Now. The activities, if verified, range from inappropriate to criminal, and would include violations of both statutes and regulations. 

PRC Commissioner Valerie Espinoza

“The information resulting from our IPRA request is deeply disappointing,” said Stephanie Maez, Executive Director for ProgressNow New Mexico. “It is our hope that by shedding light on this we can ensure that the Commissioner’s behavior is thoroughly investigated and future questionable activities by the Commissioner cease all together.”  

You can see the whole press release here:

PNNM Press-Release- Valerie Espinoza .pdf

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And you can find all the supporting documents here:

Exhibits1-4.pdf

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ProgressNow New Mexico is committed to keeping public officials of any party and at any level in New Mexico government accountable to the people. Stay tuned for any updates as this story develops.

GOP candidate condones “blowing them (aslyum seekers) away with my .44 Magnum” at New Mexico meeting

This week’s headlines have been absolutely dominated by the downright chilling effect of President Trump using overt, racist language about four sitting members of congress. His attempt on Thursday to walk back his endorsement of chants at his North Carolina rally of “send her back” is clearly disingenuous. The hate-filled rhetoric is out there and Trump supporters are clearly feeling free to express their own vitriol with wild abandon. Unfortunately, this appears to be manifesting itself right here in New Mexico and being encouraged by Republican candidates eyeing next year’s elections. 

Chris Mathys

Chris Mathys, a self-declared “conservative Christian and supporter of President Donald Trump,” held a listening session in the small community (less than 1000 people) of Mimbres in Grant County this past weekend. According to an article in the Las Cruces Sun-News, racists sentiment were loudly expressed by many in attendance and not at all rebuked by Mathys at any point.

It’s Always Susana in New Mexico (at least when it comes to oil and gas)

ProgressNow New Mexico has published a number of articles about the deep ties the oil and gas industry has with former Governor Susana Martinez’ administration. But when you stop and look at the makeup of top lobbying groups like the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA), so-called Power the Future, and top lobbyists for other extraction industry titans, the numbers are truly stunning. At least nine top lobbyists currently working in the extraction industry (or lobbyist adjacent) came directly out of the Martinez administration. The big problem? New Mexico doesn’t have a law that requires a “cooling off” period for officials once they leave the public sector and return to private life.

Universal Pre-K: New Mexico’s Bold Next Step

Last week, we asked our readers their opinion about every three and four year old having access to high-quality, universal pre-k. Responses indicated that high quality, universal pre-k is not only a priority for families with young children, but it is also of importance to our community as a whole, providing a strong, educational foundation for future generations as well as an opportunity for New Mexico to improve pay for pre-k teachers, many of whom utilize food stamps and Medicaid to help make ends meet. 

Our readers wrote to us with their pre-k stories- both the good and the bad, a reflection of the current state of our pre-k system. Some readers talked about the ways in which the pre-k system helped ready their own children for school, while educators chimed in about the difference they were able to see when a child has attended pre-k. Others, frustrated with the system, talked about the never-ending wait-lists, the lottery system that only serves a small portion of the population of three and four year olds, and the shameful pay that keeps some pre-k educators living in poverty. However troublesome, these stories are not new.

**UPDATED-GOP Staffer: Blacks Should Thank Whites Post-Slavery

Yep, you read the headline right. This week, GOP Staffer, Stella Padilla, added to her own barrage of hate-fueled social media posts with a new image depicting deceased Civil War soldiers, the text above it reading: Over 620,000 White People Died to Free Black Slaves And Still To This Day Not Even 1 Thank You. (See below for original post and enlarged, *graphic* image.)

This is the same GOP contractor who sought to exploit the conditions in which asylum seekers were going to be housed in Albuquerque. After trespassing, she and GOP side-kick Dinah Vargas were kicked off the closed campus for unauthorized filming. You would think that the GOP-which has incessantly beaten the drum on Real ID initiatives, and is obsessed with people’s birth certificates would have done their due diligence to vet a prospective employee.

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ALEC Exposed: Names of NM Elected Officials LEAKED

Some elected officials hold town halls to listen to constituents. Some send out surveys and others hold gatherings at parks or churches. 

In New Mexico, however, some elected officials and community leaders choose to get their marching orders from corporations with extreme Right Wing agendas. 

Enter ALEC: The American Legislative Exchange Council.